US 3651979 A
A container for tablets and the like including a generally flat tablet retaining portion having one side thereof provided with a tablet dispensing opening with track means arranged adjacent thereto to slidably hold a cover element therein to permit shifting of the cover element into open and closed position across said tablet dispensing opening; said closure element having self-locking and spring loaded characteristics, including a shape to permit retraction of a locking portion thereof into the track area to provide a constant holding against portions of the track area, and when sifted into the closed position, to close the dispensing opening by forcing portions of the cover element into locking position to prevent accidental opening of the tablet dispensing area.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Severson 51 Mar. 28, 1972  TABLET CONTAINER WITH CLOSURE ELEMENT  Filed: July 10,1970
 Appl.No.: 53,802
Dalle ..220/41 X Primary Examiner-George E. Lowrance Attorney-James R. Cwayna [5 7] ABSTRACT A container for tablets and the like including a generally flat tablet retaining portion having one side thereof provided with a tablet dispensing opening with track means arranged adjacent thereto to slidably hold a cover element therein to permit shifiing of the cover element into open and closed position across said tablet dispensing opening; said closure element having self-locking and spring loaded characteristics, including a shape to permit retraction of a locking portion thereof into the track area to provide a constant holding against portions of the track area, and when sified into the closed position, to close the dispensing opening by forcing portions of the cover element into locking position to prevent accidental opening of the tablet dispensing area.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures TABLET CONTAINER WITH CLOSURE ELEMENT This application relates to an improvement upon a closure element disclosed in my copending application filed Sept. 15, I969, Ser. No. 857,788 entitled Tablet Dispenser With Slide Lock Closure. Although the invention disclosed in that particular application performs its desired function, applicant has found that the particular track and slide arrangement utilized herein permits automatic loading and sealing of the container after loading.
Applicant has developed a container for tablets and the like which provides a unique opening and closing element having a locking effect when in its closed position such that the same will not be accidentally opened, and tablets be accidentally dropped from the container. Applicants device further includes a closure element having means thereon for normally retarding motion at any stage of its opening position such that the container may be easily opened through finger pressure, but will not close unless a closing pressure is exerted against the slide controlling portion thereof.
It is therefore an object of applicants invention to provide a tablet dispensing unit capable of automatic assembly through the utilization of a straight track arrangement with a normally straight, unflexed closure element mounted therein such that the closure element may be inserted into the track in one position and thereafter the tablets may be inserted into the container and thereafter a cover element be placed thereover and sealed thereto without requiring any particular arrangement to hold the sliding closure element during this filling process.
It is therefore an object of applicants invention to provide a container for tablets and the like which includes a containing member having a tablet dispensing opening on one side thereof with a closure element arranged in close association therewith which closure element is shiftable to open the container for the removal of tablets and closable to positively hold the tablets therein until an opening pressure is applied thereto.
It is a further object of applicant's invention to provide a container for tablets and the like which utilizes a straight track section adjacent to an open tablet dispensing portion of the container and having a closure element mounted therein for sliding movement within the track section which closure element will be held by the track element during filing, closing and sealing of the container unit without any additional holding means necessary to properly position said closing element.
It is still a further object of applicant's invention to provide a tablet container member having an open portion thereof for the dispensing of tablets therethrough with a locking closure element arranged in position to open and close such dispensing area with means on the closure element to normally hold the same at any open position, but normally shiftable within the track area to lock into closed position and thereafter open only upon the application of an opening force thereto.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will more fully appear from the following description made in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to the same or similar parts throughout the several view, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a container embodying the concepts of applicants invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken substantially along line 2 2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section taken substantially along line 33 of FIG. 1 illustrating the closure element of the container in open position; and
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating the closure element of the container in locked, closed position.
In accordance with the accompanying drawings applicants tablet container and dispenser is generally designated 10, and includes a bottom portion 11, having upstanding sides 12, 13, 14 and an upstanding front portion generally designated 15. These sides and bottom are formed in a one-piece configuration and the upper ends ofthe sides 12, l3, l4 and front are respectively notched as at 12a, 13a, 14a, and 15a to provide a mounting and sealing area for a cover element 16 to be received thereupon, and sealed smoothly thereagainst. This sealing process will be discussed hereinafter, but may take any of various forms such as solvent welding, or electronic welding, or other means for joining, when plastic materials are utilized.
As particularly illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 a closure receiving groove 17 is provided on the inner surface of the bottom plate 11 spaced from the frontal 11a portion thereof, and as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 this groove communicates with an upwardly extending groove 14b, formed in the upstanding side 14. The upper cover member 16, is also provided with such a closure element receiving groove designated 16a, and obviously these three grouped portions 17, 14a and 16a must be aligned for proper sliding of a closure element, which closure element is generally designated 25, therein.
As particularly illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the three sides l2, l3, 14 provide continuous sides for the container 10, but the front surface 15, provides an apertured pill dispensing area 18, along one end thereof. In the form shown this pill dispensing area 18 is formed due to the construction of the side 15.
In the form shown a pair of upstanding wall members 19, 20 are provided-adjacent to, on opposite sides of, and extending upwardly along the grooved track section 17, such that a vertically extending portion of a closure receiving element is provided. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the inner wall 20 extends inwardly from sidewall wall 12 a predetermined distance, while the outer wall 19 extends slightly therepast and is provided with an inwardly beveled end 19a thereon.
It should be noted that as illustrated in FIG. 2 the cover element 16 is provided with a downwardly depending shoulder 16b located at the termination point 19a of the outer wall 19 such that the groove 16a and the cover element 16 extends en tirely across the front of the container 10. It should be obvious then from this construction when the cover element 16 is sealed to the upstanding side elements 12, 13, 14, 15 particularly in the notched areas 12, 13, l4, 15, thereof the only portion of the box remaining open is the tablet dispensing area designated 18 which exists between the beveled end 19a of the front side 19, and the sidewall 14.
In the form shown, and as best illustrated in FIG. 4 the cover element 25, basically consists of a flexible, longitudinally extending strip of a dimension to normally fit within the track area 17, and this member includes a particularly defined back surface 26 which has at its outer end portions 27, 28, a dimension substantially equal to the width of the track 17, and tapering inwardly therefrom to a substantially narrowed section 29, such that two spaced points of contact are normally provided on the back side 26, of the closure member 25. As particularly illustrated in FIG. 3 this two point contact arrangement allows a rocking action of the member 25 and thereby allows a certain movement of the relatively thin mid section 29 across the width of track area 17. Obviously, although these end portions are illustrated as being tapered to the substantially thinner mid portion 29, it is obvious that the applicant is attempting to design a functionally rigid support and the two point contact could be evolved through various configurations of the member 25. By providing this two point contact at the greatest width of the member 25 and providing this width to be substantially the same as the track width dimension it should be obvious that the closure element 25 will not rattle within the track 15.
As particularly illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 the frontal surface of the closure member 25 is substantially planar and is providing with a locking nib 30, substantially intermediate the ends thereof, and extending from the planar surface to a dimension which, as particularly illustrated in FIG. 3, in combination with the width of the narrow section 29 of the closure element 25 is slightly less than the width of the track area 17. As illustrated in FIG. 3 this particular arrangement is necessary to permit the locking nib 30 to be received into the track area between the aforementioned walls 19-20, and the material of the closure element 25 and its flexing when the same is positioned between such walls 19-20 will provide a holding force for the cover member, and will, when the closure element 25, is shifted from the position of FIG. 3 into the position of F 16. 4, provide a snap-lock" relation to the container.
As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4 an actuating member 31 is provided adjacent one end of the closure member 25, and this actuating member 31 extends slightly beyond the normal dimension of the container to allow the user thereof to apply an opening force to the closure element 25. In use, the container 10 will normally be in closed position when the same is being carried in one's pocket, and the locking nib 30 engagement with the beveled surface 19a of the side 19 will retain this position. When it is required to open the box a force for example tothe right in FIGS. 3 and 4 will cause a combined action to initially depress the locking nib 30 into the track area 17 by causing a rocking motion about the ends 27,28 of the closure element 25. After the locking nib 30 has passed the beveled area-19a it will through its flexing and tendency to return to its normal straight relationship hold the closure element 25 in any position without allowing the same to rattle within the track area.
One particularadvantage of this closure element design is for automatic filling of such tablet dispensing unit. in automatic dispensing the closure element 25 is inserted vertically between the walls 19,20 and will be retained therein. For example, if the closure element 25 is inserted into the area illustrated in FIG. 3 the self-retaining aspects due to the flexibility of the closure member will maintain the same therein and permit a certain degree of handling without disrupting the position thereof. After such location of the closure element 25 the tablets are inserted into the container cavity area and thereafter the cover element 16 is inserted thereover and sealed thereto through any of the aforementioned means if the unit ismade ofplastic.
Certain advantages reside in this type of straight closure element having the rocking features in that the machining is particularly simple and no particular jigs or fixtures are necessary to aid in positioning the cover element 25 for the automatic filling techniques utilized.
With applicants device the positive snap lock action obtained through this type of closure element insures that the container will not open unless a positive opening force is applied to the closure element. This is particularly essential when persons are required to carry tablets with'them at all times for if the container were to open without such force applied obviously a certain amount of tablets could be lost.
it should be obvious that applicant has provided a unique dispensing container having a particularly unique closure element therewith providing positive locking features and which lends itself particularly to automatic filling techniques.
What is claimed is:
l. A closure structure for containers to permit dispensing of articles contained therein, which structure includes:
a. means defining a straight guiding track along one side of the container;
b. a closure element arranged for sliding movement in said track from a first container closing position to a second container opening position, said element having:
1. a substantially planar longitudinally extending side engageable with and slideable along one side of said track;
2. at least a pair of transversely extending track engaging members arranged on the side opposite said planar side and adjacent the ends of said element to extend across the dimension of said track and normally contact the other side thereof; I
3. means for rocking selected portions of said closure ele-- ment about said track engaging members to flex said planar side away from track engaging position;
4. a locking member arranged on and extending from said planar side to lock with selected portions of said track defining means when said closure element is in unflexed position; and,
5. the cross sectional dimension of said closure element between said track engaging members being of a first predetermined reduced dimension, said track engaging members being of an increased cross sectional dimension.
2. The structure set forth in claim 1 and said locking member arranged adjacent said first reduced dimension and the entire dimension across said reduced dimension and said locking member being less than the transverse dimension of said track defining means.
3. Tl-le structure set forth in claim 2 and said track defining means including:
a. upstanding wall members along selected portions of the container; and,
b. the end of one of said wall members being leveled to releasably, lockingly engage said locking member.
4. The structure set forth in claim 3 and an actuating element extending outwardly from said planar side exteriorally of said container and adjacent one end of said closure element.
5. The structure set forth in claim 1 and the cross sectional dimension of said closure element tapering from said first predetermined reduced dimension to said increased cross sectional dimension of said track engaging members.